Synopses & Reviews
'Ukraine is not a brothel!' This was the first cry of rage uttered by Femen during Euro 2012.
Bare-breasted and crowned with flowers, perched on their high heels, Femen transform their bodies into instruments of political expression through slogans and drawings flaunted on their skin. Humour, drama, courage and shock tactics are their weapons.
Since 2008, this 'gang of four' – Inna, Sasha, Oksana and Anna – has been developing a spectacular, radical, new feminism. First in Ukraine and then around the world, they are struggling to obtain better conditions for women, but they also fight poverty, discrimination, dictatorships and the dictates of religion. These women scale church steeples and climb into embassies, burst into television studios and invade polling stations. Some of them have served time in jail, been prosecuted for ‘hooliganism’ in their home country and are banned from living in other states. But thanks to extraordinary media coverage, the movement is gaining imitators and supporters in France, Germany, Brazil and elsewhere.
Inna, Sasha, Oksana and Anna have an extraordinary story and here they tell it in their own words, and at the same time express their hopes and ambitions for women throughout the world.
"With Ukraine in the news, this informative account of the radical feminist group Femen (which was founded in Ukraine in 2008, but has gone international) is well-timed. The four young founders of Femen (Anna Hutso, Oksana Shachko, Alexandra Shevchenko, Inna Shevchenko) explain why they were drawn to politics, and describe the evolution of their notably theatrical political actions. Opposed to patriarchy and religion, the founders discuss why going topless became a hallmark. They describe some of their actions in detail, from protests against Catholic 'fundamentalists' (targeted because of the Church's opposition to abortion and gay marriage, and its lack of repentance for killing women at the stake during the Inquisition) to actions against Ikea (which became the object of Femen's ire when it created a catalogue for Saudi Arabia that featured no women). An illuminating epilogue from journalist Ackerman ponders the movement's future. Ackerman reports that a member of Femen sobbed after the book was completed, saying: 'People write books like this when it's all over.' In a way, concedes Ackerman, this may be correct: the movement 'in its historical form,' may be through. However, its energy and legacy will live on, and this account will inspire activists and inform scholars for generations. (July) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Femen is a feminist protest group which was founded in Ukraine in 2008 by Anna Hutso, Oksana Shachko, Alexandra Shevchenko and Inna Shevchenko, who are among its key members. They have attracted worldwide attention for a series of high-profile protests at key international events and currently live in exile in France.